Court reforms come into effect

The Judicature Modernisation Bill came into effect on March 01.

One of the most significant changes was to combine the District Courts throughout the country to form the New Zealand District Court, making it the largest court in Australasia, spanning 58 court sites and hearing more than 200,000 cases a year.

The legislation makes a number of changes including:

  • replacing the Judicature Act and Supreme Court Act with a Senior Courts Act
  • repealing the District Courts Act and re-enacting it as a new, modernised Act
  • making the processes and criteria for appointing judges more transparent by requiring the judicial selection and recommendation process to be published by the Attorney-General
  • enabling specialist panels of judges to be assigned to hear particular types of cases in the High Court
  • increasing flexibility for the court to limit vexatious proceedings, and
  • extending the District Court’s jurisdiction to allow it to deal with civil cases where the amount in dispute is up to $350,000, rather than the current threshold of $200,000.

For more information:
Judicature Modernisation Bill
District Court Rules and District Court Act 2016

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